The summer after our senior year of high school, my friends and I gathered at Kari’s house 3, 4, sometimes even 5 nights a week. We would play long games of Cranium and Apples to Apples, watch movies and Gilmore Girls, or go to the nearby school to play Cops and Robbers until late into the evening.
I had a habit of being on time or a little early. Our friends had the habit of being chronically late. Typically, I would arrive at Kari’s shortly after she was done with her shift at Applebee’s and we would head over to the grocery store for supplies. As we made our Rice Krispie treats, our friends would filter in, leaning on the kitchen counter until we were done and ready to do whatever we had planned for the night.
But we didn’t call them Rice Krispie Treats. We called them “fiestas” because of our propensity for using different flavors of cereal, adding sprinkles or mixing in some chocolate…they looked much more festive than regular Rice Krispie Treats!
I’ve been missing Kari and our summer of “fiestas” lately. So when Dan requested that I make a new snack recipe (unlike me, he doesn’t want popcorn as a snack nearly every day), I of course decided to bring back the fiestas…with a chai twist!
These are a fun twist on the classic treat. Because they are made with homemade marshmallows instead of store-bought, they may be a little stickier. If you don't have any instant chai powder, you may also grind 1 tablespoon of chai tea in a coffee or spice grinder until the texture is powdery.
- 2/3 cup cold water, divided
- 2 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant chai mix
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 9 cups rice cereal (I used Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice)
- Line a 13x9" baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and set aside.
- Pour gelatin over 1/3 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Allow to rest, undisturbed, until the gelatin absorbs much of the water.
- In the meantime, combine the other 1/3 cup of water with the sugar, chai and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium low, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Allow to boil, undisturbed, until a candy thermometer reads 240F about 7-10 minutes.
- Turn the stand mixer on low and slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin. Beat on high until thick and lukewarm.
- Fold in the cereal and pour into the lined baking pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into squares.